After successive defeats, Mikel Arteta hopes his team can bounce back in the Champions League. Look ahead with our Arsenal vs Sevilla prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Sevilla: The Quick Hits
- The odds are very much in Arsenal’s favour here, with Mikel Arteta’s side winning 66.2% of simulations ahead of the match.
- Sevilla haven’t won any of their last eight away Champions League matches since a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in 2018.
- Arsenal could secure their passage to the knockouts on Wednesday, but only if they win and Lens beat PSV.
Arsenal will at the very least take a huge step towards qualification for the UEFA Champions League knockouts on Wednesday if they complete back-to-back wins over a Sevilla side in desperate form.
Mikel Arteta’s side battled to a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Sevilla on 24 October that saw them reach the halfway point in the group stage with six points, enough to give them control of the group. Two moments of inspiration from Gabriel Jesus, who set up Gabriel Martinelli before making it 2-0 himself, proved decisive for Arsenal in Spain, with their hosts unable to pull level despite enjoying late pressure after Nemanja Gudelj pulled one back.
There’s little to suggest Sevilla will have enough to damage Arsenal’s progression hopes and hoist themselves into contention on Wednesday either.
Arsenal may have only won three of their 11 previous Champions League group games against Spanish opposition, but two of those were against Sevilla, and the Andalusians have a poor record in England.
In 11 away matches against English sides in Europe, Sevilla’s only victory was a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in the last 16 of the 2017-18 Champions League. In fact, they’ve not won any of their last eight games on the road in this competition, a run that stretches back nearly three years to December 2020 when they beat Rennes 3-1. But even that requires an asterisk as Roazhon Park was basically empty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Arsenal go into the fixture having suffered a frustrating – and controversial – 1-0 loss at Newcastle United on Saturday in the Premier League, and Arteta will be desperate to consign the noise around that defeat to history with a resurgent display at the Emirates Stadium with a place in the last 16 within touching distance.
If they beat Sevilla and Lens defeat PSV in Eindhoven, Arsenal will be assured of at least finishing second in Group B. They’ll still have work to do to secure top spot, but their primary objective in the first phase will be complete with two games to spare. Even if the result elsewhere doesn’t go Arsenal’s way, success will leave them in a very strong position.
Victory over Sevilla would also see Arsenal do a Champions League group-stage double over another club from one of Europe’s top five leagues for only the fourth time, having previously achieved this in 2006-07 (Hamburg), 2012-13 (Montpellier) and 2013-14 (Marseille).
It won’t be a shock if they pull it off. After all, Sevilla’s poor run in this competition isn’t just restricted to their away form; they’ve won just two of their past 17 Champions League matches on any ground and are simply in a difficult position currently.
Their only win in any competition since the hiring of Diego Alonso as head coach early last month was a 3-0 victory over sixth-tier opposition in the Copa del Rey, and with the oldest starting XI on average (30 years, 354 days) in the Champions League this season, they’re hardly a team bursting with potential.
Alonso’s chances of earning a first win over a professional team aren’t going to be helped by the fact that several potentially key players are struggling with their fitness. Fernando, Sergio Ramos and Marcos Acuña are all doubts, while first-choice goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland withdrew from training on Monday due to an adductor issue.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are hoping to have Martin Ødegaard back after he missed Saturday’s loss to Newcastle, whereas Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey and Jesus are all likely to be absent.
Arsenal vs Sevilla Head-to-Head
Other than their meeting two weeks ago, Arsenal and Sevilla have only met twice before in official competition.
Sevilla were beaten 3-0 on their last visit to Emirates Stadium in September 2007, but they got their revenge on Arsenal in Spain with a 3-1 win a few weeks later.
Those wins aside, Arsenal’s record against La Liga teams is poor, losing six and drawing two of their past 11 Champions League clashes with clubs from Spain.
And, as mentioned, Sevilla have rarely done well on trips to England, though in April this year they did come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away to Man Utd en route to winning the UEFA Europa League.
If Sevilla can stop Arsenal from scoring, then whatever the score they’ll have done well. The Gunners have only failed to net in one of their past 26 Champions League matches, a 2-0 home defeat to Barcelona in the 2015-16 last 16; they’ve scored in their last 20 group games and haven’t been kept at bay in front of their own fans in the group stage since October 2012 (vs. Schalke).
But this isn’t exactly a foregone conclusion, as Arsenal’s last two games have shown they’re by no means infallible. They’ve lost two in a row across all competitions and were also beaten away to Lens in early October.
They are a different proposition at home generally, though. Arsenal have only lost twice at home all year (in any competition) and crushed PSV 4-0 in their most recent Champions League game at the Emirates.
Sevilla come into the game with one win in five under Alonso and they’re also yet to win in the Champions League this season. They will be desperate for a positive result here to spur them on ahead of a difficult run in La Liga.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Arsenal vs Sevilla Prediction
Arsenal are, unsurprisingly, heavy favourites for this encounter, with 66.2% of the Opta supercomputer’s simulations ahead of kick-off resulting in a home win.
Nevertheless, Sevilla might like those chances of picking up at least a point – they did just that in 33.8% of simulations, though only 15.1% accounted for them taking all three points back to Spain.
As for the teams’ respective chances beyond Wednesday, Arsenal are considered the fourth favourites to go all the way (7.5%) and the supercomputer reckons there’s just a 3.4% chance of them failing to get out of the group.
Sevilla, however, are projected to finish bottom of the group, having ended the first stage there in 53.9% of simulations. That would of course mean their Europa League title defence would come to an end as well.
Arsenal vs Sevilla UCL Squads
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale, David Raya, James Hillson, William Saliba, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhães, Jakub Kiwior, Cédric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Lino Sousa, Thomas Partey, Martin Ødegaard, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Fábio Vieira, Mohamed Elneny, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson.
Head Coach: Mikel Arteta.
Sevilla: Marko Dmitrović, Ørjan Nyland, Jesús Navas, Federico Gattoni, Adriá Pedrosa, Sergio Ramos, Tanguy Nianzou, Marcos Acuña, Loïc Badé, Nemanja Gudelj, Joan Jordán, Ivan Rakitić, Djibril Sow, Fernando, Óliver Torres, Boubakary Soumaré, Lucas Ocampos, Suso, Rafa Mir, Dodi Lukebakio, Mariano Díaz, Youssef En-Nesyri, Erik Lamela.
Head Coach: Diego Alonso